What Would Civil War Two Look Like? Reply

This is one of the best analyses I’ve seen to date on what an actual Civil War 2 would look like. It’s political, geographical, and cultural analysis is spot on, although its main weakness is that it largely leaves out social class (which is fragmenting both the Red and Blue Tribe) as well as cultural/social cleavages among the Blue Tribe which are growing exponentially.

An actual Civil War 2 would not be the Red Tribe vs Blue Tribe per se (although that may be an impetus that gets the ball rolling). It would be more like the Lebanese civil war of the late
1970s/early 1980s with dozens of different factions. For example, in some geographical areas showdowns between rival gangs would be just as important as political rivalries. Also, the fragmentation of the state itself would be an issue (or multiple issues).

Tourist buses ‘no longer welcome’ in Paris city centre Reply

france24.com

AFP / Lionel Bonaventure (file photo) | A tourist double decker bus in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Paris aims to ban tourist buses from the city centre to spur visitors to walk, cycle or take public transport, tackling complaints about nuisances caused by mass tourism, the French capital’s deputy mayor said.

Emmanuel Gregoire told Le Parisien newspaper that the situation in Paris was not as bad as in tourist-swamped Venice or Barcelona but Parisians were concerned about the influx of tourist buses. More…

Neanderthals glued their tools together Reply

arstechnica.com
KIONA N. SMITH

Neanderthals glued their stone tools into place on wooden handles, a new study suggests. Archaeologists found chemical traces of pine resin on 10 stone tools from Grotta del Fossellone and Grotta di Sant’Agostino, on the western coast of central Italy. That’s pretty solid evidence that Neanderthals living in Italy were hafting their stone tools and securing them in place with resin between 55,000 and 40,000 years ago—long before Homo sapiens set foot in Europe. More…

Oregon’s Tsunami Risk Reply

New article from the lady who wrote “The Really Big One,” that Pulitzer Prize winning article about the inevitable super earthquake that is supposedly going to destroy a nice chunk of the coastal Northwest. If this kind of stuff interests you I’d recommend reading this article before reading the newer one that I’ve posted below.

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The New Yorker
by Kathryn Schulz

JULY 1, 2019

Other than asteroid strikes and atomic bombs, there is no more destructive force on this planet than water. Six inches of it, flowing at a mere seven miles per hour, will knock a grown man off his feet. Two feet of it will sweep away most cars. Two cubic yards of it weighs well over a ton; if that much of it hits you at, say, twenty miles per hour, it will do as much damage to your body as a Subaru. In rough seas, a regular ocean wave can break with a force of two thousand pounds per square foot, more than enough to snap a human neck. A rogue wave—one that is more than twice the height of those around it—can sink a nine-hundred-foot ship. More…

Why we disagree about human nature Reply

Elizabeth Hannon & Tim Lewens (Eds) Why we disagree about human nature.Oxford University Press, 2018. 206 pp. £30 hbk.

JULY 1, 2019

By Simon Jarrett

If one day a disturbingly precocious child were to ask what part you had played in the nature/ nurture war, what would you reply? Were you with the massed intellectual ranks who, since the philosopher David Hull’s ground-breaking 1986 classic ‘On Human Nature,’ have denied that there is any such thing as a common nature for all humans? Or did you join Stephen Pinker’s 2003 counter-revolution, when The Blank Slate sought to reclaim the ground for the Enlightenment, and the idea that there is something essentially the same about all humans across time, space and culture?

If you are not quite sure where you stand, or perhaps too sure where you stand, then this pleasingly eclectic collection of ten essays on human nature, and whether we can meaningfully talk about such a thing, will be of great help. Its contributors, who come from psychology, philosophy of science, social and biological anthropology, evolutionary theory, and the study of animal cognition, include human nature advocates, deniers, and sceptics. We could perhaps call the sceptics ‘so-whaters’ – they agree there may be something we can attach the label ‘human nature’ to, but query whether it really matters, or carries any explanatory weight. These people would take our (hopefully apocryphal) infant prodigy aside and say, ‘well there are some conceptual complexities here that make it quite difficult to give you a straightforward answer.’ More…

Video Games That Made People Question Their Beliefs Reply

Gita Jackson
Kotaku

When Scott Udall first played Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance shortly after it came out in 2005, he was in a vulnerable spot. Udall, who grew up Mormon in Salt Lake City, Utah, was very religious, and his family were all politically active Republicans. His parents had gone through a messy divorce, and he’d lost contact with his father’s side of the family. He found solace in Path of Radiance’s world, and when the sequel, Radiant Dawn, came out two years later, he was excited to revisit the characters. He didn’t realize when he started playing that Radiant Dawn would become a catalyst that shook him from his previously held convictions. More…

It took a decade for the Declaration of Independence to matter in American life Reply

Stanford News

Two Stanford historians discuss how the United States’ Declaration of Independence became one of the pillars of American civic life and other lesser-known historical facts about what happened on July 4, 1776.

On the historic day of July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was approved by Congress, Thomas Jefferson, its primary author, went on a small shopping spree and bought seven pairs of women’s gloves.

Declaration of Independence

Celebrating the Declaration of Independence on July 4 is an American tradition, but it took a while for that tradition to develop. (Image credit: todd taulman / Getty Images)

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Open Letter From Steve Forbes To Mark Zuckerberg Reply

by Steve Forbes

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:

Your company made big headlines when it announced it would be launching a cryptocurrency called the Libra in 2020. Not surprisingly, given the nature of the times, the project has been greeted with intense criticism and skepticism. Don’t lose heart. In one sense, the idea of a company creating its own kind of money is an old one. The airlines’ frequent-flier miles are really a form of money that customers can earn and use to buy trips and various other things. Credit card companies, hotels and numerous retailers have all sorts of loyalty programs in which people earn points that will let them buy all manner of goodies.

But if you play your cards right with the Libra, you could be to money and finance what Henry Ford was to automobiles. Your new currency could take its place alongside the inventions of coins and paper money many centuries ago. It could replace the U.S. dollar as the global currency. More…

The Gap Between Rich and Poor Americans’ Health Is Widening Reply

NPR
by Susie Neilson

Researchers compared Americans’ health status today with that of 25 years ago and found that health is worsening among lower-income Americans.

Orbon Alija/Getty Images

 

Income inequality in the U.S. has grown over the past several decades. And as the gap between rich and poor yawns, so does the gap in their health, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open Friday. More…

Rising US Inequality: How We Got Here, Where We’re Going 1

Stanford Business
Shana Lynch

An economist and a business advisor discuss what might happen if the gap between rich and poor continues to grow.

A tent is seen next to Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Reuters/Lucy NicholsonInequality is on the rise in the United States. Stanford experts discuss possible solutions. | Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

The U.S. economy hit a historic high in 2018, and today unemployment is at its lowest rate in five decades. Yet wage growth for the vast majority of Americans has stalled, and more people are struggling to afford housing, health care, education, and other basics.

More…

The Long, Slow Death of Venice 1

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The local population is at its lowest since the 1950s, with no turnaround in sight, as tourists continue to chase locals out.

by Chiara Albanese, Giovonni Salzano, and Federico Vespignani

If you’ve been to Venice, you get it. Even the most jaded globetrotter can’t help but do a double-take at the sheer originality—and beauty—of the centuries-old city built entirely on water.

Yet even the quickest visit reveals that Venice is no longer a living city, with scores more tourists than actual Venetians crowding its lagoon, bridges and walkways. The numbers bear that out. The city’s population basically peaked in the 1500s, and though it rallied again to near 16th century levels in the 1970s, today there are just one third as many Venetians as 50 years ago. More…

11 Micronations in Europe You Never Knew Existed Reply

This needs to become a global trend, like McDonald’s.

By Harry Stewart

The culture trip.

We’ve all heard of places like Liechtenstein and the Vatican, tiny European nations with minuscule populations. Yet these are internationally recognized states—actual countries, if you will. Even more bizarre are Europe’s micronations: quirky little self-proclaimed lands which have come into existence for the strangest of reasons. Here are the most unusual on the continent.

The Republic of Saugeais

This tiny slice of eastern France actually formed as a state in jest back in 1947. The owner of a restaurant of the same name jokingly asked a visiting government prefect if they had permission to enter his kingdom. Upon further interrogation, the sharp-witted proprietor invented details of his kingdom on the spot, and was somehow officially appointed president of the new republic. Primarily made up of good-humored retirees, Saugeais once elected one of its many presidents after the latter received a particularly vigorous round of applause.

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How to build your own country Reply

By Joe Quirk

CNN

If you’d like to live in a country that caters to your values and lifestyle, why not build your own? Nearly half the earth’s surface is a blue frontier over which no country holds sovereignty, and startup cities that float permanently in international waters will soon be economically feasible as construction materials get cheaper, greener and printable in 3D form. These will be homesteads on the high seas — or seasteads.

Joe Quirk

Joe QuirkBy 2020, Blue Frontiers, our for-profit spinoff from The Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, plans to provide fresh jurisdictions on floating sustainable islands designed to adapt organically to sea level change. These will be privately financed and built by local maritime construction firms employing the latest in sustainable blue tech.We’ve already raised our seed round of investments to perform research and secure legislation, so get ready for the next wave of nations.Of course, the need for seasteads could not be greater. Americans are fed up with their government — in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans reported that they trust neither the Democratic or Republican establishment to represent them.But this isn’t a new sentiment. America’s founders were also fed up with their government. The New World served as a platform where political innovators could experiment with unconventional ideas. As new states and territories were established piecemeal across the frontier, they became incubators for novel ideas of governance — eventually shaping the country we have today.

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There Is No Such Thing As A Moderate Mainstream Centrist 1

Caitlin Johnstone on why it is the “centrists” who are the real extremists.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Medium

I just watched two mainstream political videos back-to-back from what is conventionally referred to as America’s political “center”, and just by coincidence they happened to completely contradict each other. The first was a Bill Maher segment in which he barely even attempted to tell any jokes, spending the time instead explaining to his viewers why the Republican Party is “the party of Putin.” The second video was a recent CNN interview with Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, who proclaimed that the US needs to be “more aggressive” toward Russia “across the board”, and described his party’s unified efforts to help escalate that aggression.

Royce is a Republican.

I have never recommended that anyone watch a Bill Maher video before, and I don’t expect that I ever will again, but this segment was really extraordinary in the shrillness and seriousness with which Maher advanced his ridiculous argument that the Republican Party loves Russia. I recommend taking a look at it and just noting the near absence of actual jokes and the few pity laughs the audience gives him.

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Democratic criticism of Trump-Kim meeting show deep division in US Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US Democrats’ widespread criticism of President Donald Trump’s recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is indicative of a deep division in Washington, where political interests shape the foreign policy, says an American political analyst.

Democratic presidential hopefuls and lawmakers launched a direct attack on Trump over his spur-of-the-moment decision to meet Kim at the Demilitarized Zone separating South Korea from the North on Sunday.

They also objected to Trump’s move in crossing the border into South Korea as the first ever American president.

A spokesman for leading Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden, blasted Trump for “coddling” Kim “at the expense of American national security and interests.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who enjoys the second strongest following among the aspirants, said the president was “squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters” with Kim.

Senator Bernie Sanders, almost next in popularity to Warren, said the move had “weakened the State Department.”

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said Democrats were looking to “weaponize” the meeting and use it to their own advantage.

“Foreign policy has simply become an issue that political parties are using to weaponize against each other,” he told Press TV on Monday.

“The Democratic Party politicians are simply trying to attack Donald Trump and it wouldn’t matter what he did,” the Virginia-based analyst argued.

PressTV-Democrats lay into Trump after Kim meeting

PressTV-Democrats lay into Trump after Kim meetingDemocratic presidential hopefuls and lawmakers have launched a direct attack on President Trump over his decision to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Preston noted that it was always a positive development when two leaders decided to sit down and peacefully resolve their differences.

This is specially important for North Korea and the U,  as they both came within inches of nuclear war over Washington’s objections to Pyongyang’s nuclear tests and ballistic missiles programs.

During the DMZ meeting, which was their third, Trump and Kim agreed to resume talks after the collapse of the last meeting in Vietnam earlier this year.

“It is interesting that the Democrats are attacking the peace process simply for the purpose of scoring some political points,” Preston said.

“That actually reflects the kind of divisions that go on in our society at the present time” he continued, adding that the Democratic response to Trump’s meeting was “just another episode of partisan politics shaping foreign policy.”

Godspeed Justin Raimondo, You Brilliant Son of a Bitch Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

The son of a bitch promised he wasn’t gonna go. That’s what goes through my grief wrenched mind tonight, as I learn that Justin Raimondo, easily the greatest writer of the Paleoconservative Movement and total unapologetic son of a bitch to the bitter end, has passed after a white knuckle brawl with lung cancer, at 67. He can’t be dead. Their has to be a catch. He was so certain that he could kick that bastard disease back to hell where it belonged that he made you believe it too. Justin Raimondo, America’s own Yukio Mishima, an abominable twin-fisted fag who punch mountains just for the exercise between cigarettes is dead? No. No fucking way. Not possible.

To those of you who don’t know Justin and his work, I have no words to give you. There is simply no way to possibly describe to the uninitiated how massive he was to the Antiwar Movement. But I grew up, a pissed off anti-imperialist queer in my own right, enthralled by the Old Testament grade power of his sublime diction. It made little difference that he was a Buchananite isolationist and that I was a lefty-Yippie-anarcho-punk. He was radical. His enemies were my enemies, Kristol, Horowitz, Hitchens, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and he cut them down mercilessly like a shogun vigilante who’s katana thirsted only for the blood of chickenhawks. I had never seen somebody so antiwar be so cruel and it was fucking beautiful. He was brilliant, cunning, merciless, and he was on our side. Those neocon pussies didn’t stand a chance. He was our secret weapon, an action movie style wringer for the Peace Movement and he and Eric Garris’ antiwar.com remains the finest viable resource in any die hard peacenik’s arsenal.


This isn’t to say that the old bastard couldn’t piss me off. He could make my blood boil like bacon grease, especially when he became a seemingly unshakable defender of our current foul Caesar and refused to admit that the revolution had gone sour after the Donald began racking up war crimes like the politician Justin assured us he wasn’t. I raged over this hypocrisy, not because I hated Justin but because I loved him so goddamn much that I couldn’t bare to see some slick corporate welfare queen make a fool of my sensei, simply because he wanted so badly to believe that this orange bulldozer could pave the way for the antiwar revolution that we both ached for.

But it’s important, for me as much as anybody else if not more so, to remember that Justin came from the Murray Rothbard school of anti-imperialism. With every position he took, right or wrong, he put peace first, no matter how much it hurt, whether this meant endorsing Che or the SDS or Nader or Trump. Justin could care less about Trump the candidate. What he saw was an opportunity for Trump the movement. He saw barns full of Southern Baptist crackers chanting America First and he saw an opportunity to push anti-imperialism into the mainstream zeitgeist. I still, quite violently, disagree with this M.O.. Frankly it smacks of the kind of ends-justify-the-means style tyranny that turned me off of Leninism. But, much like Lenin, Justin was a complicated beast who sometimes let his bleeding heart drown out his enormous brains. And even for this mortal sin, I can’t help but to love the old bastard a friend of mine once aptly described as the gay Sicilian Archie Bunker.

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Steve Forbes Exclusive: “A Monkey Throwing Darts” Is BETTER Than the Fed… Reply

Mike Gleason: It is my great privilege now to be joined by Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine, CEO of Forbes Media, and author of many fabulous books, including Flat Tax Revolution, How Capitalism Will Save Us, and Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy and What We Can Do About It. He’s also a two-time presidential candidate, having run in the Republican primaries in both 1996 and in the year 2000.

Mr. Forbes, I really want to thank you for your time today and for joining us again. It’s a tremendous honor to have you back on, welcome.

Steve Forbes: Good to be with you. Thank you.

Mike Gleason: Well, let’s start with one of the big topics on Wall Street these days, that being tariffs and trade. The president has been working to rewrite trade deals and reduce the trade deficit. Recently, the dispute with China escalated and tariffs were increased to 25%. There has been some volatility in the equity markets, but so far, at least, investors seem to be optimistic that a deal will be reached, or perhaps trade tensions don’t matter as much as they should, because the Federal Reserve is already signaling they will ride to the rescue.

Do you think the tariffs will be effective, and we wonder if America’s hand is as strong as the president thinks it is, or are people really prepared for much higher prices as the extra costs associated with tariffs get passed along? What are your thoughts there?

More…

Trump threats against Iran are in line with his playbook 1

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s threats against Iran are in line with his playbook and should not be taken seriously, says an American political analyst in Virginia.

“The comments that Donald Trump has made recently, as well as the particular policies that he has threatening to impose are fairly in character with both Donald Trump’s personality and, as well as the general policies that the American government has followed,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

Donald Trump is prone to a lot of blustery rhetoric but rarely does he ever follow through on anything of that type,” Preston told Press TV on Tuesday.

“We can remember that he was at one point threatening the North Koreans in a similar way and then he actually turned around and did an about face on North Korea and he could very easily do that with Iran,” he added.

Trump threatened Iran on Tuesday with “obliteration” if the country launches any attack on American forces in the Middle East region.

In a Twitter rant railing against the Islamic Republic, Trump said, “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality.”

PressTV-Trump threatens Iran with ‘obliteration’

PressTV-Trump threatens Iran with ‘obliteration’Trump has said has threatened Iran with “obliteration” if the country launches any attack on American forces.

Tensions have been running high between the US and Iran since Trump’s decision in May last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence as well.

The US has also sent warships, bombers and additional troops to the region in the wake of suspicious tanker attacks in the Sea of Oman, which it has blamed on Iran without providing evidence.

Despite repeating threats and baseless accusations against Tehran, Washington has also been calling for negotiations.

Tehran has time and again asserted that it does not seek war with the US, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.

Tucker Carlson Tells Trump in Private: No War With Iran 4

Interesting if true.

The Daily Beast

In the upper echelons of the Trump administration, hawkish voices on Iran predominate—most notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. But as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated over the last few weeks, there’s been another, far different voice in the president’s ear: that of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

A source familiar with the conversations told The Daily Beast that, in recent weeks, the Fox News host has privately advised Trump against taking military action against Iran. And a senior administration official said that during the president’s recent conversations with the Fox primetime host, Carlson has bashed the more “hawkish members” of his administration.

While some Fox News hosts have argued that a conflict with Iran would be justified, Carlson has consistently criticized U.S. military intervention abroad, particularly in the Middle East. In recent weeks, he has questioned whether war with Iran would be “in anyone’s interest.” Last month, he publicly chided Bolton, saying he was intentionally escalating tensions, and that a potential conflict would “be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, his birthday wrapped into one.”

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Queer Power!: Because Pride is Not Enough 2

Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Once upon a time, somewhere over the rainbow, being Queer was dangerous. We were vile leather-clad degenerates, strutting down the cracked streets of neon drenched red light districts, lipstick smeared, basted in glitter, our self-manicured claws sharper than knives, our foul tongues sharper than claws, posing, posturing, begging the devil for a bad time.

We were outlaws, pirates sailing the high deserts in long stolen Cadillacs, painting our faces like savages and pitching our battered rainbow tepees on the banks of the Salton Sea, smoking peace-pipes loaded with hash, reefer, semen, tobacco, opium, ludes, kitten heels and moldy crumbled make-up. We got so high, we fucked so hard, for so long, our tantric screams of ecstasy bouncing off the canyon walls and swelling the cul-de-sacs of the recently robbed rich, depriving them of the sleep they so desperately needed to fulfill their wretched obligations as some bloated dictator’s greatest generation, a pill-popping silent majority who couldn’t swallow a barbiturate big enough to free them from the knowledge that the moaning sodomites who ransacked their garages were their bastard kin.

We were bomb-throwing revolutionaries, marching with Panthers, torching cop cars, hurling our diseased corpses upon the machines of powerful men all but deaf to anything but the sound of our shattered bones clogging the guts of their federally funded sports utility vehicles. We were Billy Burroughs, Miss Major, Hakim Bey, Allen Ginsberg, John Waters, Leslie Feinberg, Harry Hay, Paul Goodman, Gore Vidal, Larry Kramer. We were dykes, fags, trannies, perverts, lunatics, sodomites, carpet munchers, cocksuckers, radical faeries, flaming fucking queens. We were dangerous. We were beautiful. We were Queer.

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